November 16, 2023
from Jennifer Rogers-Petitt, director of development and community engagement
Editor’s Note: Periodically, you will find a guest Head’s Message here from members of the administrative team. We hope you will enjoy reading their thoughts and reflections about life at MPA.
Why a lip sync battle? I have been asked that question more than a few times as director of development and community engagement at MPA. I inherited this tradition that started in 2016: an end-of-day all-school assembly on Give to the Max Day. Some have wondered what teachers and staff battling it out with a friendly lip-sync competition has to do with fundraising at an independent school like MPA.
Every year, when we gather to watch the teams put themselves out there in person and our compilation video at the end of the night, this gathering reminds me of why I love MPA. This year, reflecting on how we’ve celebrated as a community on Give to the Max Day in years past feels especially meaningful.
Of course, Give to the Max Day isn’t just about well-rehearsed dance moves or (at times) silly costumes. It’s about the joy, fun, and sense of shared purpose and community a day of giving can spark. And what better way to spark joy than through a lip sync battle? Please know that all community members are welcome to join us in the Lansing Sports Center at 2 PM.
In preparation for this chance for our community to support the area that matters most to them— academic innovation, access, the arts, and athletics—I asked teachers, staff, students, and alums why each area resonates with them. Our third-grade teaching team, Ms. Stewart and Ms. Wermager, shared this with me:
“As new teachers at MPA, we both feel lucky to be in a community where students are encouraged to explore, create, and test out their ideas. One of our focus areas is to provide students with many opportunities to make and create in our classrooms. We wouldn’t be able to implement these activities without funds and materials, so we appreciate that MPA provides us with what we need to make these experiences possible.”
I hope you’ll follow along on MPA’s social media channels to hear more inspiring stories about why an MPA education means so much to our students, staff, and alums.
Today, I am giving to support the type of academic innovation in the classroom that I know my own students have benefitted from. I also support access to an MPA education for every student who can benefit from our whole-child academics, prioritizing collaboration over competition. After making a gift to ensure our incredible arts faculty and staff have the resources they need to continue to guide every student to embrace their creativity and expression, I will give my standing ovation for our Middle School students as they perform in the Middle School play this weekend. And while we’re tallying up final gifts tonight, I’ll know my gift in support of athletics at MPA helps our student-athletes, like the Varsity Swim Team, at their state tournament.
We have a big goal today and many challenges remaining to unlock even more financial support for our students and staff. Join with me and thousands of alums, parents, grandparents, and friends to give generously for today’s students and the future we can all hope for, knowing they’ll be the trailblazers and leaders shaking the world and stirring the human spirit.